Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 18
Verse 7: “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.”
Have you ever intended to say something to someone and then was so grateful that the opportunity didn’t present itself? I’m talking, seriously confront or maybe even scold them, only to find out that you would have been off base? Oh, okay… maybe just me. I have had this happen and was so grateful that the line was busy or I got distracted. Today’s “gold nugget” warns of the dangers of this, “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” Reading Proverbs and even this devotion, you will see that Scripture teaches us to confront sin. Scripture also teaches us to be “slow to speak” (James 1:19). How do we maintain a balance? Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” Hmm... “the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” “Pours” forth; that seems to be an indicating word. Pours indicates a free flowing action, but the first part, “studies how to answer”, seems to be the key to the balance. It seems we all either live at one end of the spectrum or the other. We know people that correct others at every turn, who are quick on the draw and usually quick to anger. We also know those that are slow to anger and never confront or correct. The spiritual truth and reality is that both of these are wrong.
We as Christians do not have the luxury of taking the easy road of living at either of those addresses. We are challenged and expected by God to seek out the truth and walk in it. I like that word “seek”. It ties us back into that key word, “studies”. When we see issues in each other’s lives, we owe it to each other and God to take action. The action is to initiate the “study”. That is to pray for that person. Consider whether or not they are in need of your intervention. How does it line up with scripture? Above all things, be sure that your intentions are pure and that your concern is out of love and not anything else. Don’t be too quick, but don’t be too slow. Al this takes wisdom. Not the wisdom of this world, but the wisdom of God that can only be discovered from a deep relationship with Him and familiarity with who He is and what He has to say. This is revealed in His Word.
Lord, it has become so clear that my personal spiritual health as well as those that I can or do have influence over, is dependent on my understanding of your Word. Help me to be able to know the truth (from your Word) and by this become more familiar with who you are. I then, with love, can help others around me. Amen
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